Model, Space Shuttle, Final Orbiter Concept

NASA used this Space Shuttle orbiter concept model in wind tunnel tests to learn about the flight characteristics of the vehicle's shape. Although the orbiter would spend most of its time in space, its aerodynamic shape would affect its passage through the atmosphere during launch and descent. Straight wing designs were considered and tested; however a delta wing design was finally chosen, in part to meet U.S. Air Force requirements for high cross-range maneuverability during final descent. Delta wings meant a heavier orbiter and more surface heating during reentry, but they also permitted the orbiter to glide farther without power to reach a runway. NASA transferred a variety of wind tunnel and concept models to the Museum after settling on the final Space Shuttle design.

Transferred from NASA Ames Research Center

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Rockwell International Corporation

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Moving Beyond Earth

Type
MODELS-Wind Tunnel

Materials
Aluminum, epoxy, clear protective coating, steel
Dimensions
Model (Without Mount): 21 x 53.3 x 36cm, 7.3kg (8 1/4 x 21 x 14 3/16 in., 16lb.)

NASA used this Space Shuttle orbiter concept model in wind tunnel tests to learn about the flight characteristics of the vehicle's shape. Although the orbiter would spend most of its time in space, its aerodynamic shape would affect its passage through the atmosphere during launch and descent. Straight wing designs were considered and tested; however a delta wing design was finally chosen, in part to meet U.S. Air Force requirements for high cross-range maneuverability during final descent. Delta wings meant a heavier orbiter and more surface heating during reentry, but they also permitted the orbiter to glide farther without power to reach a runway. NASA transferred a variety of wind tunnel and concept models to the Museum after settling on the final Space Shuttle design.

Transferred from NASA Ames Research Center

Country of Origin
United States of America

Manufacturer
Rockwell International Corporation

Location
National Air and Space Museum, Washington, DC
Exhibition
Moving Beyond Earth

Type
MODELS-Wind Tunnel

Materials
Aluminum, epoxy, clear protective coating, steel
Dimensions
Model (Without Mount): 21 x 53.3 x 36cm, 7.3kg (8 1/4 x 21 x 14 3/16 in., 16lb.)

ID: A19760754000